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ICC prosecutor: Darfur attacks may constitute war crimes

International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said Friday that attacks on UN peacekeepers in the Darfur region of Sudan may constitute war crimes. A recent attack [NPR report] left seven UN peacekeepers from Tanzania dead and another 17 military and police personnel of the African Union/UN Hybrid Operations in Darfur (UNAMID) [official website] wounded. In her statement, Bensouda further warned that ICC "will not hesitate to prosecute those alleged to have committed such war crimes." The UN previously noted this attack is one of the most serious attacks against the peacekeepers since their deployment, bringing the total number of UNAMID peacekeepers killed since 2007 to 54.

There has been significant international attention surrounding the human rights violations in Sudan. Last month Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] reported that Ali Kosheib, former militia leader turned officer of the Sudan Central Reserve Police, was spotted in an attack [JURIST report] against Salamat communities in Central Darfur. In April the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) [official website] called on the government of South Sudan to protect communities at risk of violence [JURIST report]. In January HRW urged Sudan to end its crackdown [JURIST report]against political and cultural groups.

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